18 works in progress by some of the Nordic region’s biggest names – Bille August, Björn Runge, the multi-prized JP Valkeapää and Malou Reymann will be showcased at the hybrid Nordic Film Market (Feb. 3-6), along with some Sundance and Rotterdam competition entries.

The NFM runs parallel to the final stretches of the Göteborg Film Festival (Jan.28-Feb.6).

So far, over 450 international delegates have signed up for the major Nordic film confab. Only 250 will be able to attend in-person, due to COVID restrictions in Sweden.

“We’ve received a huge interest from professionals to attend in-person, following the decision of Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin’s European Film Market to go online. It’s been very difficult to say ‘no’ to people, but our priority is to guarantee a safe event,” said Göteborg head of industry Cia Edström who underlines the various safety measures to be implemented at the NFM, from vaccination checks, limited capacity in venues and longer breaks between screenings to the cancellation of drinks, nibbles and parties. “We’re the lucky ones, being able to stage a partly physical event. But I really feel for my dear colleagues who had to take the difficult decision to move fully online,” she said.

The pandemic has also put extra pressure on Edström and her team with regard to programming. “We’ve put extra work into the selection as COVID-19 has impacted both the volume of titles in post and the release schedule of completed works, therefore we’re particularly happy with our lineup,” said the head of the market who makes sure each year her program has an equal share of seasoned and upcoming cineastes as well as a gender balance.

“As always, we look for projects that can break out internationally, whatever the genre,” she continued.

Anticipated mainstream features in the works in progress include the book to screen adaptations and love stories “Burn all My Letters” by “The Wife”’s Björn Runge, repped by REinvent, and “The Kiss” by double Palme d’Or winner Bille August. The period drama, inspired by a Stefan Zweig novel, is one of two works in progress sold by LevelK, together with Christian Lollike’s satire “The Cake Dynasty,” produced by Oscar-winning Danish producer Kim Magnusson.

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Titina Credit: Mikrofilm

High-budget European co-productions in post-production take in the Norwegian WWII drama “War Sailor” by Gunnar Vikene (“Occupied”), produced by Mer Film’s Maria Ekerhovd (“The Innocents”), and animation pic “Titina” by Katja Næss.

Academy Award-winning animation specialists Mikro Film in Norway and Vivi Film in Belgium are spearheading the polar epic, repped by Les Films du Losange.

“We rarely showcase animation films, but this is a highly anticipated European co-production, targeting both kids and adults,” Edström said.

The head of industry also highlighted the documentary “The Andersson Brothers” by first-timer Johanna Bernhardson, niece to acclaimed Swedish helmer Roy Andersson. The portrait of the complex relationship between the four Andersson brothers (including Bernhardson’s father) is produced by Sweden’s Cinenic Film, behind Göteborg’s opener “So Damn Easy Going.” A sales agent has yet to be attached.

Other promising debuts by female directors looking for global distribution take in “The Great Silence” by Danish-born Katrine Brocks, about the peaceful convent-life of a young nun (Kristine Kujath Thorp of “Ninjababy”) which is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of her elder brother (Eliott Crosset Hove of “Winter Brothers”); and the Swedish thriller “Dogborn” by Isabella Carbonell, delving into the world of human trafficking. The two films won pitch laurels at Haugesund’s New Nordic Films 2020 and Helsinki’s Finnish Film Affair 2021 respectively.

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Unruly Credit: Andreas Haubjerg

Sophomore pics by festival darlings to watch out for include the Finnish comedy “Hit Big” JP Valkeapää (“Dogs Don’t Wear Pants”) and the Danish period drama “Unruly” by Malou Reymann (“A Perfectly Normal Family”) starring Emilia Koppel (“Collision”) and Jessica Dinnage (“The Rain”).

The Discovery section will provide a springboard for eight projects in early development such as “Europa” by Kurdish/Norwegian Brwa Vahabpour, an episode director of NRK’s winning series “Countrymen,” and “Värn” (the project’s Swedish title) by John Skoog (“Ridge”), produced by Ruben Öslund’s Plattform Produktion.

Among the 20 completed films screening both online (for delegates only) and at Göteborg’s Biopalatset are the Sundance-bound docs “A House Made of Splinters” (Cinephil), “The Mission” (Autlook Film Sales) and narrative films “Speak no Evil” (TrustNordisk), “Hatching” (Wild Bunch) and “Girl Picture” (LevelK).

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The Great Silence Credit: Asmund Sollihogda

The program for Göteborg’s other industry event, its TV Drama Vision running Feb. 2-3, will be unveiled in a few days.

Full Lineup of the Nordic Film Market’s Works in Progress:

“Amina,” (Ahmed Abdullahi, Sweden)

“Burn All My Letters,” (Björn Runge, Sweden)

“Dogborn,” (Isabella Carbonell, Sweden)

“Exodus,” (Abbe Hassan, Sweden)

“Hit Big,” (JP Valkeapää, Finland)

“Night,” (Mona Johanne Hoel, Norway)

“Norwegian Dream,” (Leiv Igor Devold, Norway)

“Road Trip with Mom,” (Hilmar Oddsson, Iceland)

“Siblings,” (Saara Cantell, Finland)

“Storm,” (Erika Calmeyer, Norway)

“The Andersson Brothers,“ (Johanna Bernhardson, Sweden)

“The Cake Dynasty,” (Christian Lollike, Denmark)

“The Great Silence,” (Katrine Brocks, Denmark)

“The Kiss,” (Bille August, Denmark)

“The Quiet Migration,” (Malene Choi, Denmark)

“Titina,” (Katja Næss, Norway)

“Unruly,“(Malou Reymann, Denmark)

“War Sailor,”(Gunnar Vikene, Norway)